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ARM announces 64bit Cortex A50 series processors

AMD is joined by Samsung, Calxeda and Broadcom
Tue Oct 30 2012, 16:20
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CHIP DESIGNER ARM has announced its Cortex A53 and Cortex A57 processor designs based on its ARMv8 architecture.

ARM's Cortex A50 series chips will be the first to sport both 32bit and 64bit capabilities based on the firm's ARMv8 architecture. The firm claimed the Cortex A53 and Cortex A57 chips will be used in consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets as well as in servers.

Yesterday AMD announced its partnership with ARM to design 64bit ARM based Opteron chips and now it clear that AMD will use designs from the Cortex A50 series in its processors. While AMD got a head start on other ARM vendors, ARM said today that it has also lined up Broadcom, Calxeda, Hisilicon, Samsung and ST Microelectronics as licensees of its ARMv8 architecture.

ARM's Cortex A53 will be pitched as a high efficiency processor to handle smaller workloads, while the Cortex A57 will be used as a chip for heavy lifting. The firm didn't disclose clock speeds, simply saying that different licensees will set those based on their requirements, but it did say that Cortex A53 chips will be fabbed at 20nm while the Cortex A57 will use a 32nm fab process.

ARM said that 32bit compatibility will be present so that any code compiled for 32bit can run on its Cortex A50 series chips, and it claimed they will deliver significant performance increases. However the firm said that applications ported to 64bit will not use more RAM but will offer further performance improvements, though it wouldn't provide any low level details on where those improvements will come from.

While ARM wouldn't forecast dates for when its Cortex A50 chips will appear in consumer devices or servers, the firm said it expects silicon to become available during 2013 and 2014 and systems incorporating that silicon to appear during 2014 and 2015. µ


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